mitigate

verb
mit·i·gate | \ ˈmi-tə-ˌgāt \
mitigated; mitigating

Definition of mitigate 

transitive verb

1 : to cause to become less harsh or hostile : mollify aggressiveness may be mitigated or … channeled —Ashley Montagu

2a : to make less severe or painful : alleviate mitigate a patient's suffering

b : extenuate attempted to mitigate the offense

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Other words from mitigate

mitigation \ˌmi-tə-ˈgā-shən \ noun
mitigative \ˈmi-tə-ˌgā-tiv \ adjective
mitigator \-ˌgā-tər \ noun
mitigatory \ˈmi-ti-gə-ˌtȯr-ē \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for mitigate

Synonyms

allay, alleviate, assuage, ease, help, mollify, palliate, relieve, soothe

Antonyms

aggravate, exacerbate

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Choose the Right Synonym for mitigate

relieve, alleviate, lighten, assuage, mitigate, allay mean to make something less grievous. relieve implies a lifting of enough of a burden to make it tolerable. took an aspirin to relieve the pain alleviate implies temporary or partial lessening of pain or distress. the lotion alleviated the itching lighten implies reducing a burdensome or depressing weight. good news would lighten our worries assuage implies softening or sweetening what is harsh or disagreeable. ocean breezes assuaged the intense heat mitigate suggests a moderating or countering of the effect of something violent or painful. the need to mitigate barbaric laws allay implies an effective calming or soothing of fears or alarms. allayed their fears

mitigate vs. militate: Usage Guide

Mitigate is sometimes used as an intransitive (followed by against) where militate might be expected. Even though Faulkner used it some intangible and invisible social force that mitigates against him —William Faulkner and one critic thinks it should be called an American idiom, it is usually considered a mistake.

mitigate or militate?

Would it be correct to say, "His boyish appearance mitigated against his getting an early promotion"? Most usage commentators would say "no." They feel such examples demonstrate a long-standing confusion between mitigate and the look-alike militate. Those two words are not closely related etymologically (mitigate descends from the Latin verb mitigare, meaning "to soften," whereas militate traces to militare, another Latin verb that means "to engage in warfare"), nor are they particularly close in meaning (militate means "to have weight or effect"). The confusion between the two has existed for long enough that one commentator thinks "mitigate against" should be accepted as an idiomatic alternative to militate, but if you want to avoid criticism, you should keep mitigate and militate distinct.

Examples of mitigate in a Sentence

At the far end of the room is a sliding glass door, taped with an X to mitigate shattering. The framing is flimsy, and rattles from mortar rounds even a half mile away. —William Langewiesche, Atlantic, May 2005 … a genre novel whose inevitable cinematic ending doesn't mitigate the visceral and emotional power of what has come before. It lingers in the memory like a very bad dream. —Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books, 14 Aug. 2003 For 65 holes Norman dominated the classic rolling fairways and small, subtle greens of Olympic … with driving and iron play so solid that it mitigated mediocre putting. —Jaime Diaz, Sports Illustrated, 8 Nov. 1993 Emergency funds are being provided to help mitigate the effects of the disaster. medicines used to mitigate a patient's suffering
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Recent Examples on the Web

Even a high score can result in a credit denial if there are other mitigating factors in your risk profile. Michelle Singletary, BostonGlobe.com, "No, you don’t need a perfect 850 FICO score," 13 July 2018 The Ariel’s interchangeable hipbelt and/or harness should mitigate that issue, allowing buyers to put a small or medium hipbelt on an extra-small pack. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, "The Best Women’s Backpacking Packs," 13 July 2018 While the predictability of the path of the storm is fairly high over the next 72 hours, beyond that time frame, there are just too many mitigating factors that will affect the storms ultimate destination. Greg Porter, Washington Post, "Maria explodes into super typhoon in the western Pacific and may hit China next week," 6 July 2018 According to his lawyer, the heavy intoxication is a mitigating factor, and since then, Maxwell has been attending counseling for his alcohol use. Kimberly Rapanut, azcentral, "Oakland A's catcher sentenced to probation after Scottsdale gun incident," 2 July 2018 The circumstances in Uresti’s criminal case offer several mitigating factors that Ezra should take into consideration at sentencing, McCrum wrote. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Prosecutors want Uresti to serve at least 17½ years in prison," 25 June 2018 The resulting data, Burns said, could help municipalities regulate future development in landslide-prone areas and mitigate risks in areas that are already developed. Elliot Njus, OregonLive.com, "Study finds 37,000 Multnomah County residents live in landslide zones," 12 Apr. 2018 In the meantime, faced with multiple threats — disease, trafficking, the cyclone season — there have been few practical measures taken to mitigate the risks posed by elephants in the camps. Poppy Mcpherson, USA TODAY, "Elephants and Rohingya Muslim refugees jostle for space in Bangladesh," 18 Jan. 2018 Republicans made that change because the Trump Administration wants to use the CCC to mitigate the damage to U.S. crop prices from the Trump trade war. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Dust Bowl Economics," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mitigate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mitigate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mitigate

Middle English, from Latin mitigatus, past participle of mitigare to soften, from mitis soft + -igare (akin to Latin agere to drive); akin to Old Irish moíth soft — more at agent

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Dictionary Entries near mitigate

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mitigate

mitigatedly

mitigation

mitimae

Statistics for mitigate

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mitigate

The first known use of mitigate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for mitigate

mitigate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of mitigate

: to make (something) less severe, harmful, or painful

mitigate

transitive verb
mit·i·gate | \ ˈmit-ə-ˌgāt \
mitigated; mitigating

Medical Definition of mitigate 

: to make less severe or painful

mitigate

verb
mit·i·gate | \ ˈmi-tə-ˌgāt \
mitigated; mitigating

Legal Definition of mitigate 

transitive verb

: to lessen or minimize the severity of what actions the State took to mitigate the hazardous conditionsEstate of Arrowwood v. State, 894 P.2d 642 (1995) factors that mitigate the crime — see also mitigation of damages sense 1 — compare aggravate

intransitive verb

: to lessen or minimize the severity of one's losses or damage a failure to mitigate

Other words from mitigate

mitigation \ˌmi-tə-ˈgā-shən \ noun
mitigative \ˈmi-tə-ˌgā-tiv \ adjective

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Comments on mitigate

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occurring twice a year or every two years

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